10 Best Songs of the Week: Beach House, Mitski, A Place to Bury Strangers, Sally Shapiro, and More

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10 Best Songs of the Week: Beach House, Mitski, A Place to Bury Strangers, Sally Shapiro, and More
Plus Shame, Tame Impala, and a Wrap-up of the Week’s Other Notable New Tracks

Dec 10, 2021

By Mark Redfern (with Joey Arnone)


Welcome to the 46th Songs of the Week of 2021. As the Christmas holidays creep in there are fewer new tracks of note to choose from. This week’s list is mainly populated with reliable established artists, rather than new up and comers.

In the last week we posted interviews with Valerie June, Ela Minus, and Colin Meloy of The Decemberists.

In the last week we also reviewed a bunch of albums.

To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last week, we have picked the 10 best the last week had to offer, along with highlighting other notable new tracks shared in the last seven days. Check out the full list below.

1. Beach House: “Over and Over”

On Wednesday, Beach House shared four more new songs from their forthcoming album, Once Twice Melody. The new songs comprise the second chapter of the album, which consists of tracks 5-8: “Runaway,” “ESP,” “New Romance,” and our top song of the week, the seven-minute long “Over and Over.”

Last month, the band shared the album’s first chapter, which consisted of the album’s first four tracks and included the album’s title track, which topped our Songs of the Week. The third chapter, featuring tracks 9-12, will be released on January 19, 2022, and the album’s fourth and final chapter, which contains the final four songs on the album, will be released along with the full album on February 18.

Beach House’s previous album, 7, came out back in 2018 via Sub Pop.

Read our exclusive 2018 interview with Beach House on 7. By Joey Arnone

2. Mitski: “Heat Lightning”

On Tuesday, Mitski shared an animated lyric video for her new single “Heat Lightning.” It is the latest release from her forthcoming album, Laurel Hell, which will be out on February 4, 2022 via Dead Oceans.

Previously released singles from Laurel Hell are “Working For the Knife,” which topped our Songs of the Week list, and “The Only Heartbreaker,” also featured on our Songs of the Week list.

Mitski’s last album, Be the Cowboy, was #2 on our Top 100 Albums of 2018 list and landed her on the cover of our print magazine.

Read our 2019 cover story interview with Mitski on Be the Cowboy. By Joey Arnone

3. A Place to Bury Strangers: “Hold On Tight”

On Tuesday, Brooklyn noise rock band A Place to Bury Strangers shared a video for their new single “Hold On Tight.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming sixth studio album, See Through You, which will be out on February 4, 2022 via Dedstrange.

Frontman Oliver Ackermann states in a press release: “When the getting’s good, I hold on tight. Sometimes I forget to enjoy where I am and the people around me. It is critical to be thankful and enjoy existence and have fun. Having a bad night? Reflect and kick yourself into gear.”

Upon announcement of the new album last month, the band shared the song “Let’s See Each Other,” which was one of our Songs of the Week.

A Place to Bury Strangers’ previous studio album, Pinned, was released in 2018 via Dead Oceans. Later that year, they released a remixed version of the album, titled Re-Pinned. Earlier this year, they released the EP Hologram. By Joey Arnone

4. Sally Shapiro: “Christmas Escape”

On Wednesday, Swedish duo Sally Shapiro (the project of producer Johan Agebjörn and an anonymous singer who goes under the name Sally Shapiro) shared the song “Christmas Escape.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, Sad Cities, which will be out on February 18, 2022 via Italians Do It Better.

The duo state in a press release: “‘Christmas Escape’ was written last December with André Csernaka, a Swedish musician that we’ve been writing a few songs with on the new album. It’s a song about escaping from the Christmas stress. Christmas is lovely, but the period before it can be quite stressful, so we had this image of just escaping from everything, flying North with snowflakes in our eyes. The original version had drums and percussion, but as we developed the final version with Johnny Jewel for Sad Cities, we kept pulling back the layers until all that remained was the lyric and the ambient soundscape.”

Upon announcement of the album in October, the duo shared the song “Forget About You.” In 2016, they released what was promoted as one last single, “If You Ever Wanna Change Your Mind.”

Revisit our 2009 interview with them. By Joey Arnone

5. Beach House: “Runaway”

The second song by dream pop duo Beach House on this week’s list, “Runaway,” was also featured in the second batch of newly released songs from their forthcoming album, Once Twice Melody. The song was released with an animated lyric video directed by Ethan Fedele. By Joey Arnone

6. Shame: “Baldur’s Gate”

Yesterday, Shame shared a new holiday single, “Baldur’s Gate.” It is the band’s latest holiday release, since their 2018 rendition of “Feliz Navidad.” “Baldur’s Gate” is out now via Dead Oceans.

Frontman Charlie Steen elaborates on the new song, which is slightly more ominous than your typical holiday fare, in a press release: “It’s another Christmas classic. It’s about a period of time in which I’d regularly be trekking up to the streets of Edinburgh to see an ex-partner. These are some of the thoughts I’d have when I’d be leaving Waverley station, en route back to London in the winter nights.”

The band’s newest album, Drunk Tank Pink, came out in January via Dead Oceans. It featured the songs Water in the Well,” which was featured on our Songs of the Week, “Snow Day,” which was also one of our Songs of the Week, and “Nigel Hitter,” which also made our Songs of the Week list. Last month, they shared a new single, “This Side of the Sun.”

Shame’s previous album, Songs of Praise, was released in January 2018 on Dead Oceans. By Joey Arnone

7. Tame Impala: “No Choice”

On Tuesday, Tame Impala (aka Kevin Parker) announced a string of North American tour dates for 2022. He also shared the song “No Choice,” the latest release from the forthcoming deluxe version of his most recent album, 2020’s The Slow Rush. View the full list of tour dates here.

The upcoming deluxe version will feature a box set containing two transparent red vinyl LPs, a set of alternate album artworks, a 40-page booklet, and a Slow Rush 2050 calendar. Upon announcement of the deluxe reissue in October, Parker shared a remix of the album’s “Breathe Deeper,” which featured Lil Yachty. By Joey Arnone

8. American Football: “Rare Symmetry”

Yesterday, American Football shared two new singles, “Rare Symmetry” and a cover of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” featuring Miya Folick. The release marks the final recordings of the band with founding member Steve Lamos, who announced his departure earlier this year. The songs will be made available as a 10-inch vinyl release on June 10, 2022 via Polyvinyl.

The band’s most recent album, American Football (LP3), came out in 2019 via Polyvinyl. By Joey Arnone

9. Broken Social Scene: “This House Is On Fire”

On Wednesday, Broken Social Scene announced a career-spanning B-sides and rarities compilation, Old Dead Young: B-Sides & Rarities, which will be out on January 14, 2022 via Arts & Crafts. The group also shared its lead single, “This House Is On Fire,” a song taken from the recording sessions for their 2010 album Forgiveness Rock Record. View the album’s tracklist and cover art here.

Back in 2019, Broken Social Scene released two EPs, Let’s Try the After Vol. 1 and Let’s Try the After Vol. 2, both on Arts & Crafts. Earlier this year, Kevin Drew of the group released a solo album under the moniker K.D.A.P., Influences, also on Arts & Crafts. By Joey Arnone

10. Girlpool: “Faultline”

On Wednesday, Los Angeles duo Girlpool (Avery Tucker and Harmony Tividad) shared a video for their newest single, “Faultline.”

Tividad states in a press release: “The Faultline represents everything you do as a means of escape that pushes you further into the very thing you’re escaping.”

In 2020, the duo shared the song “Like I’m Winning It,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. Their previous album, What Chaos Is Imaginary, came out in 2019 via ANTI-. By Joey Arnone

Honorable Mentions:

These songs almost made the Top 10.

Aeon Station: “Alpine Drive”

Blue Hawaii: “L.O.V.E.”

Khruangbin and Leon Bridges: “B-Side”

Superchunk: “Endless Summer”

Here’s a handy Spotify playlist featuring the Top 10 in order, followed by all the honorable mentions:

Other notable new tracks in the last week include:

American Football: “Fade Into You” (Mazzy Star Cover) (Feat. Miya Folick)

Bad Bad Hats: “Sally Sweet Tooth”

Beach House: “ESP” and “New Romance”

Blushing: “Sour Punch”

BNH Deluxe: “Earth is Somewhere Out There” and “Turntable”

Bon Iver: “Second Nature”

Boris: “Last Christmas” (Wham! Cover)

Tyondai Braxton: “Dia” and “Phonolydian”

Bria: “Fruits of My Labour” (Lucinda Williams Cover)

Bully: “Just For Love”

Charli XCX: “Good Ones (Perfume Genius Remix)”

Chromeo: “Real Breezy”

Elvis Costello & The Imposters: “Paint the Red Rose Blue”

Jean Dawson and Mac DeMarco: “MENTHOL*”

EARTHGANG: “American Horror Story”

Foals: “Wake Me Up (Gaspard Augé and Victor Le Masne Remix)”

Alice Glass: “FAIR GAME”

Kim Gordon and J Mascis: “Abstract Blues” and “Slow Boy”

Little Dragon: “Drifting Out”

Porches: “Adore You” (Harry Styles Cover)

RZA and Flatbush Zombies: “Plug Addicts”

Sis: “Wooie”

Squirrel Flower: “Unravel” (Björk Cover) and “ruby at dawn”

St. Vincent: “Pay Your Way in Pain (IDLES Remix)”

Earl Sweatshirt: “Tabula Rasa” (Feat. Armand Hammer)

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